My Nourishing Journey

As an Individual

The beginning of my story is one that is all too common among women. In my teenage years, I was plagued with a negative body image and crushing insecurities, which manifested in the form of anorexia. Moving into my adult years, I continued to struggle with food. I sought solutions through misguided diets, falling into the cycle of deprivation, indulgence, and guilt. I knew that something needed to change. The final push into embracing a nourishing lifestyle came when two of my children suffered life-threatening accidents and my diagnosis of IBS and Hashimoto’s disease. Then and there, I transformed my relationship with food and health, recognizing that nutrition is a critical tool for lasting wellness and would be the key for my own transformation, as well as my children’s recoveries. My life-long relationship with nutrition and health has developed over the years and has become more balanced with age.

We are all fantastically flawed, and learning to embrace those flaws is a good thing. During my personal journey, I learned how to quiet the inner critic and practice compassion. To be successful in our path to wellness, we must learn to be kind and forgiving of ourselves. Something that has helped me to accomplish this is meditation. Mindfully acknowledging the passing of all thoughts and dismissing the self-deprecating ones. Life is hard enough on it’s own; we don’t need to be our own impediment to success.

While raising a family, I have spent that past five years working on my Master’s in Nutrition (MS) and Registered Dietician (RD) degrees, as well as studying with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I completed my studies through IIN in October of 2014, and continue to work on my MS and RD degree. Through these avenues, I have studied over 100 dietary theories and worked closely with acupuncturists, osteopaths, and doctors to gain a better understanding of the bio-individuality of our bodies and how nutrition plays a key role in disease and the prevention of disease.

As a Mother

As a mother of three incredible teenage children, I recognized struggles in my children similar to my own. I do my best to guide them towards wholesome choices. In my motherly ways, I aim to sculpt their relationship with food into one that recognizes the supreme influence that what we put into our bodies dictates how we act and feel. I accept that they need to find their own path to wellness; however, it doesn’t hurt to stock the pantry with apples instead of Hot-Pockets. I am encouraged to see their budding recognition of the important role nutrient-dense foods play in their daily lives.

 

My Nourishing Philosophy

Diets are not the Solution:
Through my own personal experience and review of the literature, it is my opinion that when seeking lasting healthy solutions, diets do not work. They deprive you of important macronutrients and lead you into a perpetual cycle of cravings, overeating, under-eating, and splurging—without a clear understanding of why our bodies feel that way. Taking notice of your emotional and physical cues are integral to a lasting and sustainable lifestyle.

Practice Self-Compassion:
Self-compassion is responding with kindness when we feel inadequate or fail. Instead of being abrasive, we treat ourselves with the same empathy and forgiveness you would offer a loved one or friend. Being successful requires three key components:

1.) Self-kindness is a sense of common humanity and mindful awareness. Kindness enables us to open our hearts to our own suffering and, in turn, to comfort ourselves.

2.) Common Humanity allows us to open our hearts to others’ suffering.

3.) Mindfulness allows us to experience the present moment with greater ease and acceptance.

Meditation to Facilitate Mindfulness:
I recommend meditation as a method to relieve anxiety, stress, and identify and manage maladaptive behaviors. It provides us heightened awareness of our thoughts, sensations, and feelings. However, Rome was not built in a day; a successful meditation practice takes time to develop. I started five minutes a day with a guided meditation and built my practice from there.

Our Nourishing Mission

I am a passionate wellness advocate who works with teenagers and adults. I aim to empower my clients to live healthy, well-rounded lives through the development of effective, personalized strategies maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Success in this area depends on many factors: nutrition, relationships, career, and self-love. My central mission for my subscribers is to align these factors by fostering healthy choices for each individual. As someone who has worked hard to create a healthy life for me and my family, I understand that the most challenging step is often the first one but with Nourishing Lab, you will never walk alone.

Melissa
“One must be compassionate
to one’s self before external
compassion.”
- Dalai Lama

affiliations

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM): since 2013 American Dietetics Association (ADA): since 2012

credentials

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition(IIN), New York City (2013)
Professional Training and Certification Program
Lifestyle Medicine: Tools for Promoting Healthy Change,
Harvard Medical School (June, 2012), Evolution of Medicine Summit (2014)